(DORCHESTER, ON) – Four games deep into the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s West Conference final, and the Essex 73’s carry a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. They’re set to close out the Dorchester Dolphins for the third time in four years tonight.
After splitting a pair of weekend games with the Dolphins, the 73’s walked into their barn on Wednesday night and marched out with a commanding lead in the series. In Game 4, Essex outshot Dorchester by a 47-26 margin; and, it showed on the scoreboard.
Eric Shaw, Tyler Scott, and Michael Vieira all ripped the mesh for the 73’s, before Derek Todosichuk shortened the lead seven minutes into the second. William Stadder pushed Essex’s advantage back to three in the middle frame and Dalton Langlois added another insurance marker in the third to end the game with a 5-1 win.
Tyler Ryan made 25 stops for the victory, while Dorchester’s Riley Brown turned aside 42 of the 73’s chances for the home team.
The series continues tonight as Essex hosts Game 5. The 73’s have an opportunity to end the series and clinch the first ever PJHL West Conference title. Game time is 7:30pm at Essex Memorial Arena.
The winner of the West Conference final will most probably face the South Conference and defending Schmalz Cup champion Ayr Centennials, for a chance at this year’s PJHL championship. The Centennials, who swept Essex last year in the semi final, are currently 16-0 in the playoffs and just polished off the Grimsby Peach Kings in four games.